Will VoIP Work With HughesNet?

by Oneil Williams

Voice over Internet Protocol doesn't work well with residential HughesNet satellite connections, according to a report published by the Rural Mobile and Broadband Alliance in 2011. But that doesn't mean you can't use it with HughesNet at all. For VoIP technology to work seamlessly, it requires a mode of data transmission that's void of delays. Satellite Internet providers are working hard to address this shortcoming in the technology.

Latency

Latency is a problem that affects satellite Internet technology because it causes delays in the processing of Internet requests. A VoIP customer who's using a satellite Internet connection to make calls may experience an echo effect on VoIP calls due to these delays. This can not only be annoying but may result in a breakdown in communication. VoIP providers such as Vonage recommend cable or DSL Internet for optimal experience on your VoIP calls.

Signal Interference

You can use a VoIP service with HughesNet, but you should also be aware of potential signal interference. Unlike cable and DSL Internet connections, mini satellite dishes on premise must send signals to a geostationary satellite some 22,000 miles into the sky. Heavy rainfall or snow can interrupt these signals and cause breaks in your Internet connection and VoIP calls. Cable and DSL wires are run underground and so almost never suffer from this type of interference. In addition, cable and DSL can typically achieve far greater bandwidth speeds than is possible through satellite Internet. As of June 2011, cable providers are providing bandwidth speeds of up to 50 Mbps in some areas and up to 100 Mbps in others.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth can also affect VoIP call quality. Most major satellite providers offer residential plans with download speeds that hover around 2 Mbps. Download speeds of 50 Mbps, or double that, coupled with upload speeds of 1 Mbps or more are possible with a cable or DSL connection. The more bandwidth you have, the more applications can run in the background or foreground without degrading your VoIP calls.

Considerations

If HughesNet satellite Internet is your only option for high-speed Internet where you live, you should be able to make VoIP calls using the service, especially if you use the Internet for nothing else during calls. For better VoIP call quality, consider cable or DSL Internet. You can make VoIP calls using online applications for virtually no cost with your existing Internet connection. Before making any commitments, ask Internet providers for network reliability statistics and customer service availability. Work only with providers that have documented terms of service to ensure you can hold them accountable for the service provided.

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About the Author

Oneil Williams started writing professionally in 1993. He wrote for "The Sunday Gleaner" and the "Jamaica Observer," two newspaper publications in Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States in 1995. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in communication from the University of Central Florida.

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